Texas avoids slump, bests rival Baylor

Jon Parrett

Texas wanted to avoid a slump after its four-run ninth inning rally fell short on Saturday in Waco. The Longhorns did just that Sunday, beating Baylor 5-2 at Disch-Falk Field to take the series 2-1.

“After last night, what you’ll see many times is the team will show up flat. It’s depressing to come that close and miss the win,” said Texas head coach Augie Garrido. “Today, my concerns were that we would come out flat, but we didn’t do that.”

Cole Green struck out eight in six innings and was as dominate as he’s been all season with his slider. But after striking out the side to begin the game, he hit a batter and walked another in the second, leading to Landis Ware’s two-RBI single that put the Bears up 2-0.

“It’s just one of those things you’ve got to deal with,” Green said. “Coach Garrido talks about going one inning at a time, and that’s kind of what I did.”

The senior didn’t allow a hit after the second inning, and only four Bears got on base during the game.

“Having the ability to turn that around made the difference in the game, because it allowed us the time we needed to get going offensively,” Garrido said.

Erich Weiss put Texas on the board in the fifth with an RBI single that scored Jacob Felts, who had gotten on base with a single of his own. Tant Shepherd continued his hot hitting with a two-RBI double in the seventh that put the Longhorns up for good.

Third baseman Alex Silver started his first home game of the season, after being diagnosed with stage 1 Hodgkin’s lymphoma in January. Silver went 1-for-4 with an RBI.

“I don’t know that I can put this into the right perspective,” Garrido said. “I don’t know how to compare a life-threatening experience to handling it the way he handled it. It’s remarkable and a true testament to the human spirit.”

Silver practiced with the team the past couple of months in between cancer treatments in Houston. The freshman played in his first game of the year last Tuesday and started in Waco on Saturday.

“When they told me I’d need three months of treatment, I tried to stay in shape as much as I could,” Silver said. “Yesterday, Coach asked me how I was feeling, and I told him I was almost 100 percent. I was surprised at how fast I recovered.”

His teammates are just as surprised as he is but are perhaps even more excited to have him on the field.

“It’s something we didn’t really think we were going to see this year,” said Brandon Loy. “When we first found out, it was really a tough feeling for us. To see him out there is really exciting, and he hasn’t skipped a beat it seems like to me. Obviously, it didn’t phase him.”